On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations beh
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    Default On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations beh

    On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    In another column exploring the likely cultural and zoological origins of Pokémon species, we take a look at Sandshrew and Sandslash.

    Read more on Bulbanews

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    Sentinal of Anistar Ryuutakeshi's Avatar Social Media Editor
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    It's not an armadillo? My childhood is ruined.

    But this was very enlightening. Interesting animal to base a pokemon off of.

    And people say that GameFreak is uncreative...

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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    This article was detailed, and amazing. Hmmm.... Pangolins...




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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuutakesh! View Post
    And people say that GameFreak is uncreative...
    People are odd like that. I mean,look at how many different variations of dragon,dogs,cats,etc there are, and they are just using the basic form of a dragon,dog,cat,etc
    People keep saying how uncreative it is to have like, four+ turtle based pokemon,but each one varies in it's nature and looks,ya know?

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    Fighting Type Trainer Kick's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    I want to say I've heard of a pangolin before, but I can't say where. Oh well, this was another cool article.
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    Fascinating and interesting, as always!
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    interesting, and I thought it was based off an armadillo or a porcupine. Goes to show that Game Freak DOES take inspiration from real life... Even though the idea of an electric squirrel doesn't seem to make that much sense.

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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    Wow. A lot of people here don't know what a Pangolin is? I've always known it was based on that animal..Then again, I've always been a science and animal hog.
    Last edited by Somari; 18th May 2010 at 01:55 PM.

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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    same 'ere
    that probably explains why they are ground types, with no hair to wash, just keratin
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    About the Pokédex classifications...

    There's a pretty good reason why some of the species names don't make sense (Such as "Hermit Crab" for Slowbro).

    It's mostly due to inaccurate translations. A more fitting translation for Slowbro's species would have been "Freeloader", but for some reason, one of guys in charge of naming things (Not the same person as the translator!) decided on Hermit Crab... It's also the reason why we have RageCandyBars desipte the fact that it isn't a candy bar.

    Unfortunately I don't know what the accurate description Sandshrew would have gotten.
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    That's a good point, and at least some of the questionable species names can definitely be blamed on the localisation team: Blastoise's species, for example, should simply be 'Shell', so I've no idea where they pulled 'Shellfish' from. Slowbro's case isn't as clear-cut, since the species name in Japanese seemed to be playing off the multiple meanings of "yadokari" (Hermit crab/tenant/freeloader), and that doesn't really translate well, but I agree that 'freeloader' would have been a more appropriate choice.

    When translating individual words, you're particularly vulnerable to problems with semantics. For instance, Rattata, Raticate, Pikachu, Raichu, Sandshrew and Sandslash are all 'Mouse Pokemon', a translation of their Japanese species name, 'Nezumi'. While in English we'd probably only refer to Pikachu and Raichu as mice, 'nezumi' is a broader term that covers both mice and rats. Japanese doesn't distinguish between those two groups in the same way that English does. (Interestingly, someone picked up on this early on in the series, and the Gen I and II games refer to Rattata and Raticate as rats rather than mice, before it was changed back in Gen III). As for Sandshrew and Sandslash being described as mice/nezumi... my hunch is that 'nezumi' is being slightly misused here in the same way that we misuse 'bug' in English...

    To clarify, the word 'bug' technically refers to a specific order of insects, the Hemiptera, which includes aphids and cicadas. It's a very specific definition, but in more general, non-scientific usage, 'bug' is used to refer to any insect, plus things like spiders and centipedes. So how would you translate 'bug' into another language? It would be entirely dependent on what meaning was being used, and it can be hard to work out when meanings overlap like this.

    As another aside, I don't like the fact that these names are referred to as 'species', either. This seems to be another slightly questionable translation - a better term might just be 'classification'. It creates all sorts of weird implications when you have multiple Pokemon sharing a 'species' name. Of course, the term 'species' is pretty inappropriate for describing Pokemon under any circumstances, since the proper definition of 'species' is a group of creatures that are (usually) only capable of breeding with each other, and not other groups... whereas Pokemon can happily breed across 'species'. But if I get into this too much, I'll end up invalidating the name of my own column, so I'll shut up now.

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    Nidoking Me! Kyoto Tushoni's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    There is one thing that was forgotten though out this entire thing...Shrews actually have a small build of poison they use they attack their prey which is primarily insects. Did anyone EVER question why it learned Poison Sting? Its based a little bit more on a shrew than ya thought eh? And shrews are rodents (mice).

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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    Quote Originally Posted by Somari View Post
    Wow. A lot of people here don't know what a Pangolin is? I've always known it was based on that animal.
    I'm one of the few who actually knows what they are, but I don't acknowledge them that much.

    I never knew Sandshrew and Sandslash were based on them, though.

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    Nidoking Me! Kyoto Tushoni's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    Quote Originally Posted by PDL View Post
    About the Pokédex classifications...

    There's a pretty good reason why some of the species names don't make sense (Such as "Hermit Crab" for Slowbro).

    It's mostly due to inaccurate translations. A more fitting translation for Slowbro's species would have been "Freeloader", but for some reason, one of guys in charge of naming things (Not the same person as the translator!) decided on Hermit Crab... It's also the reason why we have RageCandyBars desipte the fact that it isn't a candy bar.

    Unfortunately I don't know what the accurate description Sandshrew would have gotten.
    I don't completely understand the Slowbro thing but I guarentee that it has to do with the Shellder on its tail. Maybe the name is more refering to that, rather than the Slowbro itself.

    But with that in mind is there some combination of animals that have this exact symbiotic relationship?

    Also I think the games should make you have a shellder in your party for slowpoke to evolve...they just should.
    Last edited by Kyoto Tushoni; 18th May 2010 at 09:41 PM.

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    Registered User Miju's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

    I love Sandslash so it's pretty cool to have an article on them. Not only that but they're based off something cool. Pangolins. They're pretty cute.

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